It makes sense that buyers are drawn to SEO services that guarantee results. Many businesses want to find a way to reduce the risk and justify the expense of SEO, without risking being ripped off. As a reputable SEO service provider, we completely understand our clients’ desire for guaranteed results. 

But here’s why we’ll never offer guaranteed SEO results. 

What Are Guaranteed SEO Results?

The value of SEO services is generally quantified by a website’s increasing traffic and revenue. SEO goals, however, will depend on your needs. Guaranteed SEO services promise a precise result, like a well-positioned SERP ranking for select keywords or reaching a specific volume of traffic within a set timeframe. The guarantee part of their offer is the promise to refund your money back if they don’t hit this target.

Sounds fair and reasonable, right? But the problem lies in the lack of value of the prescribed outcomes. Because they’re meant to be the experts, it’s easy to trust that their aim is the right target. These SEO companies might create a result that is actually not desirable, like promising to generate 50% more traffic to your website, but they might leave out that this traffic isn’t necessarily interested in buying what you’re selling. In other words, the traffic isn’t targeted correctly and while visitor numbers increase, sales don’t.

Or they might focus on a first page SEO guarantee because ranking early on Google is certainly a valuable venture when it lasts. However, when this is done through improper techniques, the position doesn’t last, which means their guaranteed result doesn’t deliver the value clients expect and deserve.

Guaranteeing desirable results from SEO services becomes a bit of a red herring to distract clients from the fact that no SEO specialists have any control over the algorithm of search engines. 

By the end of this article, you’ll understand why there’s no single process to guarantee results. There are, however, experienced professionals who can implement best practices across your website—boosting search engine rankings and sales in the long-term.

Why Do Some SEO Agencies Guarantee Results?

Guarantees have been an integral form of marketing since well before SEO, and even before the internet was around. They’re a simple and effective way to eliminate risk for potential customers, so leads that are hesitant in working with a company have nothing to worry about: with a guarantee of their money back if their promised results don’t ensue.

Young SEO service providers want to create an attractive offer, to compete against their more established competitors. SEO guarantees appeal to their audience’s fear: helping them gain customers, and building a reputation for results.

Black Hat SEO Tactics

Black hat SEO involves tactics that superficially increase SERP rankings, while violating Google’s terms and guidelines. When using black hat techniques, results can fade as quickly as they arrive. Or even worse, they can severely damage a website’s relationship with Google, making it even more difficult to win search engine rankings. 

Black hat SEO agencies might disguise their violating tactics as ‘hacks’ or ways to manipulate the algorithm, but really, they’re low-quality, mechanically applied tasks that create more risk for their clients. 

Why Avoid Agencies that Offer Guaranteed SEO Results?

Search engines control SERP rankings, not SEO agencies. Regardless of the promises agencies make, they’ll never be able to overpower the design of the system they’re trying to work with. Google itself states that guaranteed SEO rankings are impossible, for any given keyword. 

This highlights an important point about companies guaranteeing results and why they should be avoided – to claim these ensured results means they’re either uninformed about how SEO works, or there’s a degree of deception and misleading going on. Here’s how (and why) you can avoid them.

You Can’t Guarantee What You Can’t Control

Internally, you can control the process of a guarantee and its outcome. When your business is dependent on an external SEO agency, guarantees become a flawed and unethical concept. Google is known for the constant changing of its algorithm. To guarantee SEO results, agencies need to be able to manipulate this ever-changing, invisible formula, which isn’t possible.

Poorly Implemented SEO Services Can Damage Your Company

With this concrete understanding of why guaranteed SEO rankings aren’t feasible, we can better explore its consequences. Beyond budget wastage, poorly implemented SEO can damage your reputation: both with your audience as well as Google and other search engines.

When Google inevitably catches on to your site breaching their terms, you might find that your ranking disappears, your site gets banished from Google’s index or you could even face manual action. This is damaging at the time it happens as you lose the majority of your online traffic as well as in the future because repairing your site’s relationship with Google becomes a larger task than the initial work of ranking your site.

Finally, if you scatter your site with low-quality content, vanity keywords and incomplete content, when your audience does reach your site, it’ll be difficult for them to trust you when they don’t see you as professional or valuable.

How to Spot False SEO Guarantees

  • A dodgy SEO agency will mostly target vanity keywords, which may relate to the business but don’t gather the intended audience. As the name suggests, vanity keywords are vain. They only care about superficial traffic, and not the deep relevance of potential customers.
  • Content is stuffed with keywords to trigger crawlers, while reducing its readability and value to users. Keyword stuffing works against the typical Google algorithm, and can do great damage to your rankings.
  • An inexperienced SEO agency will typically issue their guaranteed SEO results over a short-term timeframe; the sustenance of long-term traffic and conversions much harder to maintain.
  • SEO guarantees come with a lack of accountability for poor service, as long as they deliver the specific outcome they set out to. They’re often not concerned when results reverse and websites rank worse than they initially did after Google penalises the site for breaching terms.
  • Agencies with guaranteed SEO services will purchase massive numbers of low-quality inbound links, which have a detrimental long-term effect as they direct Google towards your website.
  • They claim to have a special relationship with Google or advertise guaranteed rankings.

How to Find a Reputable SEO Agency


How do you combat an unpredictable and ever-shifting landscape? Experience. Seasoned SEO specialists understand the changing nature of search engine rankings—helping you implement long-term strategies to generate regular revenue. A reputable SEO agency can maintain awareness of best practices while ensuring the best possible results. 

Where guarantees fail as they have no control over the variables, experience increases the probability of strong SEO results. Experience will always surpass guaranteed SEO services; there’s no need to hide behind vanity keywords and first-page guarantees. To test your SEO agency on their experience, pay attention to how often they share their knowledge—and how they respond to algorithm changes. This will help you evaluate their skills and determine whether you trust them to manage your SEO needs.

You can even ask a potential SEO agency about the techniques they prefer to use and why. If they’re black hat-free and are committed to the consistent, long-term implementation of SEO processes, take this as a green flag to go ahead. You can take the opposite as a red flag too – if they’re not eager to answer your questions, it should be a reason to avoid them.

Reviews, Testimonials and Case Studies

How you shop online for products is not too far removed from searching for a good digital marketing service – reviews are a great research tool. By reading first-hand experiences of the SEO agency clients, you can gain firsthand insight into their work ethic. Before they decided to hire the SEO agency in question, these people were also in your shoes.

Try to get as specific as possible when evaluating the testimonials from past clients; if you’re looking for SEO strategy and implementation, find reviews that cover this service. Try to find reviews that cover a range of different qualities, including customer service, personalisation and results. You can also find out if the company has received any awards or recognition for its work. This can build your confidence in their credibility.

Case studies are another critical tool to evaluate a potential SEO agency. This will not only help you discern the sort of results they’re capable of achieving but also how they work, how they overcome challenges and the sort of relationship they have with their clients. You might even find a case study about a client in a similar position to yours, which implies they may be the right choice for your needs.

Customised Approaches and Alignment of Goals

Another way to separate reputable SEO companies from the risky is to determine the extent of customisation they offer. A shady SEO company will apply blackhat SEO tactics and a one-size-fits-all approach because they’ll have limited capacity to expand their SEO strategy beyond this. In contrast, an experienced SEO company is capable of implementing powerful custom techniques  – targeting your brand’s most important KPIs.

For a reputable SEO provider, your audience is different to that of our next client. Your touch points have different goals, your website’s intent is unique, and the saturation of your market and keywords only apply to your brand. All of these intricacies must be factored into your strategy. A credible SEO agency will learn about your business, and their teams will conduct research to understand your market. From here, they can develop a customised strategy that will help you arrive at the results to grow your digital presence.

Any good SEO agency will be able to foresee future challenges – for both your company and industry online. If they’re happy to discuss their ideas and views with you or the areas they intend to research, this is a great sign they’ll be valuable to your business.

Work With Vine Digital: a Reputable SEO Agency

Vine Digital will never guarantee any specific SEO results, which means our clients are protected from hitting these misleading targets. Rather than negative setbacks imposed by Google, our clients benefit from compound growth in traffic and conversions on a regular basis. We assign you a dedicated SEO strategy manager whose job is to learn about the intricacies of your company, your ranking positions, market, goals and needs.

We draw on data to create SEO strategies, known for their consistency and quality. Our case studies share the unbiased experiences of customers past and present, and may help you decide if we’re a good fit. To find out more, get in touch with a Vine Digital SEO specialist now.